Obtaining a passport, part 1

I’m finally getting around to getting a passport, which I will need for my trip to Europe this summer. I did some quick searching to see how one goes about getting a passport and found these “simple” instructions.

It doesn’t surprise me that a bureaucracy can take 6 simple steps and turn it into a 1,500 word document.

For those who don’t want to read through the document, the 6 steps are:

  1. Provide the Application for Passport, Form DS-11
  2. Present Proof of U.S. Citizenship
  3. Present Proof of Identity
  4. Provide Two Passport Photos
  5. Pay the Applicable Fee
  6. Provide a Social Security Number

It is suggested that first time applicants, like me, apply in person. Therefore, step 0 in the list of above steps should be “Figure out where to go to apply in person”. I found that I can apply in person at a post office close to my office building.

Today, I plan on filling out the application and getting my passport photos taken. I already have proof of U.S. Citizenship, and I already of proof of my identify. Once I have the passport photos in hand, I’ll call the local post office for an appointment. It seems to me the process should be simpler than this. You should be able to do just about everything online except, perhaps, present your birth certificate. But what do I know, I’ve never applied for a passport before. Maybe it’s easier now than it was 50 years ago.

To be continued…

UPDATE: I now have my passport photos; I’ve filled out my application; I’ve checked with the post office here to see if I need an appointment (I don’t), so tomorrow I will go into the post office and give them what they need to process my passport. I’d do it today, but my birth certificate is at home.


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